Grove Advocates Property Tax Controls
5/2/2011

Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) today testified before the House Finance Committee about the need to control school property taxes by eliminating all exceptions specified by Special Session Act 1 of 2006, which allows school districts numerous grounds for increasing property taxes beyond the state-set inflation index. 

“When you add up all the exceptions allowed under Act 1, you have a Grand Canyon-size loophole, which covers nearly everything on which schools spend money,” said Grove.  “Act 1 was supposed to allow the voters to have a say about property tax increases, but these exceptions have allowed school districts to circumvent the referendum process and increase property taxes beyond what the voters would allow.” 

Grove’s House Bill 1326 would amend Act 1 by eliminating every exception by which school districts can currently increase property taxes beyond the state index, which will hold school districts to property tax increases within the index and force them to seek voter approval for any increase above and beyond the index. 

The committee questioned Grove about special education funding and pension costs, but Grove pointed out that the vast majority of school spending is allocated for staff salaries and benefits. 

Grove noted that for every dollar the Commonwealth sent to school districts, districts increased property taxes by $1.30, making the correlation that increased state funding does not reduce a district’s likelihood of increasing property taxes. 

“Unsustainable spending always leads to unsustainable tax increases,” said Grove.  “My constituents are calling for restraining school districts’ ability to increase property taxes.  House Bill 1326, along with mandate relief, would help Pennsylvania’s property owners by compelling school districts to hold the line on spending or take their requests directly to the voters.” 

Grove is hopeful the committee will consider his legislation in the near future, as it examines public school funding and property tax alternatives.   

More information about Grove and his legislative priorities is available at RepGrove.com or Facebook.com/RepSethGrove

State Representative Seth Grove
196th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Nicole Wamsley
nwamsley@pahousegop.com
717.783.8063
Twitter.com/RepGrove

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